Nora McCarthy

Upstream City


Upstream City: Child Welfare Systems Should Be Allies, Not Leaders, in Transformative Change

An “upstream” approach should not be an argument for expanding the size or scope of child welfare systems, writes Nora McCarthy.

Upstream City


Upstream City: Towards a Pro-Community Process for Government Funding

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco.
In February, the anti-trafficking organization Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) announced that payment delays in city contracts might put it out of business. Two weeks later, it was the large social service agency Sheltering Arms going belly up, unable to pay its bills because of a similar reimbursement abyss. 

Upstream City


Upstream City: Developing Restorative Pathways to Safety

Nora McCarthy on the value of developing restorative pathways for families to achieve safety without system involvement


Founder of the Only Magazine By and For Parents Impacted by Child Welfare System Steps Down

Fifteen years ago, Nora McCarthy launched a unique publishing project to give child welfare-involved parents an opportunity to see their often-overlooked perspectives in print, through a magazine called Rise, which exclusively features their essays and interviews.


The Harmful Effects of New York City’s Over-Surveillance

In recent years, New York City’s child welfare leadership has proudly told the story of how the system has dramatically reduced the number of children in foster care while maintaining child safety.

Graham Windham New york city foster care parent Rise


Rise Magazine Releases Guide for Working with Parents Whose Children are in Foster Care

Lakisha had an idea: “Why don’t they give us a handbook?” Lindsay added: “Yeah, why am I finding out about my rights here? Now?” Both were parents with children in foster care who had joined a weekly writing group I ran at a child welfare services agency called Graham Windham.